Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens isn’t kidding himself. He knows it’s going to be near-impossible for Boston to find an immediate impact player in the 2024 NBA Draft.

“It’ll be hard for any draft pick to crack our rotation when healthy,” Stevens said in a pre-draft press conference at Auerbach Center on Tuesday, per Souichi Terada of MassLive.

The C’s aren’t going to stop themselves from trying, though, because they can’t.

The NBA is a tough nut to crack when it comes to understanding the CBA, but the simple explanation is that there are minimal ways for Stevens to add players to his roster externally. The Celtics are rapidly approaching a league-record tax bill if they hand out extensions to Derrick White and Jayson Tatum this offseason, so if they’re going to get better it will be through drafting and developing talent.

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“I think that this draft — whatever people think of it at the top, I’m not really paying attention to that, but as you get into the meat of it, I think it’s pretty deep,” Stevens said, per Bobby Manning of CLNS. “The advancement of NIL has really impacted the 40s and 50s and post-draft because a lot of those guys went back.”

Boston currently holds the 30th and 54th picks and should be able to find some value.

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Baylor Scheierman has widely been mocked to the C’s, as the 6-foot-6 shooter out of Creighton fits the style of play Joe Mazzulla typically looks for in a wing. Terrance Shannon Jr. was one of the best scorers in college basketball last season, and with legal troubles now in his rearview, it appears he could once again be a first-round pick. Tristen Newton is a local prospect who can set the table for elite scorers, as we all saw at UConn. Ryan Dunn would fit on the current roster perfectly, as he’s ready to defend All-NBA talent before he ever steps on a professional court. You can’t be mad at a guy who stands at nearly 6-foot-8 and averaged 4.5 blocks/steals in his sophomore season at Virginia.

It would be fairly surprising to see Boston pass on a big, however, as Luke Kornet and Xavier Tillman are both headed for free agency. Kristaps Porzingis is scheduled to undergo offseason surgery, while Al Horford is entering his age-38 season.

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The Celtics need depth in the frontcourt.

Bobi Klintman and Kel’el Ware are probably the top options in the first round, as each would give the Celtics size and athleticism they currently don’t have. Ulrich Chomche is a prospect worthy of a chance to develop, as he’s still learning the game but stands at 6-foot-11 at just 18.

Stevens said it himself. The Celtics aren’t going to find a rotation player Wednesday or Thursday, but they can set themselves up for some easier decision-making in the future.

Featured image via Hannah Pajewski/USA TODAY Sports Images